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MSR 2019
Sun 26 - Mon 27 May 2019 Montreal, QC, Canada
co-located with ICSE 2019

The Mining Software Repositories (MSR) field analyzes the rich data associated with software production and operations to uncover interesting and actionable information about software systems and projects. Software repositories such as source control systems, defect tracking systems, code review repositories, archived communications between project personnel, question-and-answer sites, and CI build servers are used to help manage the progress of software projects. Software practitioners and researchers are recognizing the benefits of mining this information to support the maintenance of software systems, improve software design/reuse, and empirically validate novel ideas and techniques. As such, research is now proceeding to uncover the ways in which mining these repositories can help to understand software development and software evolution, to support predictions about software development, and to exploit this knowledge in planning future development.

The goal of this two-day international conference is to advance the science and practice of software engineering via the analysis of data stored in software repositories. The 16th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories is co-located with ICSE 2019 in sunny Montréal, QC, Canada and will be held on May 26-27, 2019.

The important dates for the Technical Papers are:

  • Abstract deadline: January 15, 2019, 23:59 AoE
  • Papers deadline: January 22, 2019, 23:59 AoE
  • Grace period for paper updates: January 23-24, 2019, 23:59 AoE
  • Author Notification: March 1, 2019, 23:59 AoE
  • Camera Ready: March 15, 2019, 23:59 AoE

Please see the Call for Papers for all details.

Call for Papers


The technical track of MSR 2019 solicits novel, high quality submissions on a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to):

  • Analysis of change patterns and trends to assist in future development
  • Analysis of natural language artifacts in software repositories
  • Analysis of software ecosystems and mining of repositories across multiple projects
  • Approaches, applications, and tools for software repository mining
  • Characterization, classification, and prediction of software defects based on analysis of software repositories
  • Characterization of bias in mining and guidelines to ensure quality results
  • Empirical studies on extracting data from repositories of large long-lived and/or industrial projects
  • Energy efficiency of software
  • Meta-models, exchange formats, and infrastructure tools to facilitate the sharing of extracted data and to encourage reuse and repeatability
  • Methods of integrating mined data from various historical sources
  • Mining code review repositories
  • Mining execution traces and logs
  • Mining human and social aspects of development
  • Mining interaction data repositories
  • Mining mobile app stores and app reviews
  • Mining multimedia repositories
  • Mining software licensing and copyrights
  • Models for social and development processes in large software projects
  • Models of software project evolution based on historical repository data
  • Prediction and modeling of software quality
  • Privacy and ethics in mining software repositories
  • Release engineering, including continuous integration, delivery and deployment
  • Search-driven software development, including search techniques to assist developers in finding suitable components and code fragments for reuse, and software search engines
  • Software science
  • Studies of programming language features and their usage
  • Techniques and tools for capturing new forms of data for storage in software repositories, such as effort data, fine-grained changes, and refactoring
  • Techniques to model reliability and defect occurrences
  • Visualization techniques and models of mined data

Types of Technical Track Submissions

We accept both full (10 pages plus 2 additional pages of references) and short (4 pages plus 2 additional pages of references) papers. Furthermore, in order to facilitate the reviewing process of your paper’s contribution, you should select one of the following paper categories:

1. Research Paper

Full research papers are expected to describe new mining methodologies and/or provide novel research results, and should be evaluated scientifically. While a high degree of technical rigor is expected for long papers, short research papers should discuss controversial issues in the field, or describe interesting or thought provoking ideas that are not yet fully developed. Accepted short papers will be presented in a short lightning talk.

Relevant review criteria:

  • relevance to field of MSR (+ clarity of relation with related work)
  • novelty
  • soundness of approach
  • quality of evaluation [for long papers]
  • ability to replicate the evaluation [for long papers]
  • quality of presentation (e.g., paper is readable, easy to follow, figures are clear, etc.)

2. Practice Experience

Adapting existing algorithms or proposing new algorithms or approaches for practical use are considered a plus.

Full practice papers are expected to evaluate the application of mining repository algorithms in an industry/open source organization context and discuss the actionable results of the evaluation (whether positive or negative) as well as any adaptations and/or modifications to the algorithms. While a detailed account of an empirical evaluation is expected for long papers, short practice papers can focus more on presenting adaptations of existing approaches or proposals of new approaches/variants for their application in an industry/open source organization context. Accepted short papers will be presented in a short lightning talk.

Relevant review criteria:

  • relevance to field of MSR (+ clarity of relation with related work)
  • explicit discussion of any adaptations or variants required by the application of the existing/new approach in practice
  • quality of empirical evaluation [long papers]
  • explicit discussion on the usefulness/impact of the approach in practice [long papers]
  • quality of presentation (e.g., paper is readable, easy to follow, figures are clear, etc.)

3. Tool Track

Given that MSR has reached its 16th edition in 2019, it is essential to promote and recognize the creation and use of tools that are designed and built not only for a specific research project, but for the MSR community as a whole. Those tools enable other researchers to jumpstart their own research efforts, and also enable reproducibility of earlier work.

Short Tool papers should include descriptions and promising use cases of previously unpublished tools built by the authors that are publicly available for reuse by other researchers and practitioners. Long tool papers should also provide an empirical evaluation (qualitative and/or quantitative) of a tool.

Since the tool track is double blind, any citations that might reveal the tool’s name or authors should be marked as [removed for double-blind]. Furthermore, we do not request the tool to be available for review, since blinding out tool names in the code or documentation is a hassle. Instead, we require a short appendix (counted in the 2 pages of bibliography) explaining how you will be making the tool available for the next 5 years, how people will be able to install and run the tool, and what kinds of tutorials/sample data will be made available with the tool. After acceptance, the tool should be made available according to those specifications.

Relevant review criteria:

  • relevance to field of MSR, including potential for reuse by other research teams and practitioners
  • novelty (+ clarity of relation with related work)
  • presence of comprehensive details on tool’s internals and usage
  • evaluation of usefulness/usability of the tool [for long papers]
  • quality of presentation (e.g., paper is readable, easy to follow, figures are clear, etc.)
  • before acceptance: short appendix explaining plans for public access to the tool for the next 5 years, for documentation on hot to install and use the tool, and for sample data included with the tool
  • after acceptance: tool, documentation and sample data should be made available according to the appendix

Submission Process

Papers must be submitted electronically through EasyChair. All types of technical papers will be peer-reviewed according to the specified review criteria, hence it is required to choose the right type of paper according to the paper’s major contributions. Submissions should follow the IEEE Conference Proceedings Formatting Guidelines, with title in 24pt font and full text in 10pt type. LaTEX users must use \documentclass[10pt,conference]{IEEEtran} without including the compsoc or compsocconf option.

Papers submitted for consideration should not have been published elsewhere and should not be under review or submitted for review elsewhere for the duration of consideration. ACM plagiarism policy and procedures shall be followed for cases of double submission. The submission must also comply with the IEEE Policy on Authorship.

Upon notification of acceptance, all authors of accepted papers will be asked to complete a copyright form and will receive further instructions for preparing their camera ready versions. At least one author of each paper is expected to register and present the results at the MSR 2019 conference. All accepted contributions will be published in the conference electronic proceedings.

The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM or IEEE Digital Libraries. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of ICSE 2019. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to the published work. Purchases of additional pages in the proceedings is not allowed.

A selection of the best papers will be invited to an EMSE Special Issue. All accepted technical papers in 2019 have a chance to win the "MSR FOSS Impact Paper Award“.

IMPORTANT: The main technical track of MSR 2019 follows the double-blind submission model. Submissions should not reveal the identity of the authors in any way. This means that authors should:

  • leave out author names and affiliations from the body and metadata of the submitted pdf
  • ensure that any citations to related work by themselves are written in the third person, for example “the prior work of XYZ” as opposed to “our prior work [2]”
  • not refer to their personal, lab or university website; similarly, care should be taken with personal accounts on github, bitbucket, Google Drive, etc.
  • not upload unblinded versions of their paper on archival websites during bidding/reviewing, however uploading unblinded versions prior to submission is allowed and sometimes unavoidable (e.g., thesis)

However, mind that it is easily possible to anonymously share replication packages with reviewers through the process described below in the “Open Science Policy” section or through anonymous sharing via Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. We highly recommend doing so, except for confidentiality or privacy reasons.

Open Science Policy

MSR encourages authors to submit replication packages and/or data sets with their papers, since access to data and scripts is essential during peer review. The following guidelines are recommendations and not mandatory. Your choice to use open science or not will not affect the review process for your paper.

If you decide to share data, we strongly encourage you to archive data sets and scripts on online archival sites such as zenodo.org, figshare.com, or archive.org. Note that zenodo.org accepts up to 50GB per dataset (more upon request), while archive.org allows to upload terabytes of data. During peer review the data set or scripts should be privately shared via an anonymous link in your manuscript. Once accepted, an option can be toggled to publish the data and scripts with an official DOI.

Apart from openness during peer review, the above archival sites also enable openness to the reader once the paper is accepted and to cite the archived content via an automatically generated DOI. A clearly illustrated walkthrough to archive data and scripts on zenodo.org and figshare.com can be found here.

Finally, MSR encourages authors to self-archive a preprint of your accepted manuscript in open, preserved repositories such as arXiv.org. This is legal and allowed by all major publishers including ACM and IEEE, enabling open access to any interested party. Note that the final version of the paper, as laid out by the publisher, cannot be self-archived. Instead, use the manuscript with reviewer comments addressed, but before applying the camera-ready instructions and templates. Feel free to contact the MSR 2019 PC or proceedings chairs for more details.


Abstract deadline: January 15, 2019, 23:59 AoE

Papers deadline: January 22, 2019, 23:59 AoE

Grace period for paper updates: January 23-24, 2019, 23:59 AoE

Author Notification: March 1, 2019, 23:59 AoE

Camera Ready: March 15, 2019, 23:59 AoE


Bram Adams (PC co-chair), Polytechnique Montreal, Canada

Sonia Haiduc (PC co-chair), Florida State University, USA

Margaret-Anne Storey (General Chair), University of Victoria, Canada